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Re: [XTalk] Jesus Temple Act

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  • Gordon Raynal
    Hi Loren, ... What are your sources for this judgment? BTW I looked up in JJ Rouseau s book ( Jesus and His World ). He notes, based on conservative
    Message 1 of 10 , Apr 1, 2005
      Hi Loren,
      >

      > First of all, the Bank of New Hampshire is never
      > crowded shoulder-to-shoulder with masses of "pilgrims"
      > when I cash my checks there. It's **much** easier for
      > authorities to spot and pinpoint untoward behavior in
      > modern day banks than the ancient temple during a
      > passover festival.

      What are your sources for this judgment?

      BTW I looked up in JJ Rouseau's book ("Jesus and His World"). He
      notes, based on conservative estimates, that the annual tax brought in
      14.5 tons... tons!... of silver each year. I would rather suggest that
      considering this amount of riches, the value of each coin that the
      organization of the collection and the care with which it were done
      were indeed high, very high. Could such be overcome (is it possible?),
      well sure, but I take it that it would take much planning and scoping
      out.

      >
      > But more importantly, people get away with bank
      > robberies all the time -- at least for a time. Here
      > are a few recent examples from NH:
      >
      > 1. Boden Hughes got away with multiple robberies
      > before being arrested.
      >
      > http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/nh/pdfreleases/May04/
      > DF%20Robbins%20Hughes%20indict1.pdf
      >
      > 2. This guy robbed a NH Bank and made away before
      > being apprehended:
      >
      > http://nhmostwanted.org/index.cfm?ac=casedetails&CaseID=20040007
      >
      > 3. And I believe this guy is still at large:
      >
      > http://theunionleader.com/articles_showa.html?article=52257

      But again... what they did were crimes and the police are on the hunt.
      In the Gospels the authorities after this are still looking for a way
      to trap this guy with a legal charge and he's not rushing in and out
      of anywhere nor hiding. Again, on the basis of this act I'd judge they
      had plenty of grounds to arrest him. I'd also judge that his known
      followers would at least be nabbed for questioning, if not arrested.
      All these crooks are on the lam after committing the crime, not walking
      around Nashua in broad daylight with a bunch of friends:)! Jesus is
      nicely moving in and out of the city and standing right out there in
      the public and challenging all sorts of folks with ties to the
      authorities.
      >
      > So I do share some of Ernie's sentiments, when he
      > writes:
      >
      > [Ernie]
      >> Incidentally, Gordon, you have me very angry with
      >> the media for all the
      >> fiction they publish as news: Suicide bombers can't
      >> possible get past
      >> several screens of trained military on high security
      >> alert in Iraq. The
      >> IRA(?) can't possible penetrate elaborate bank
      >> security systems to abscond
      >> with umpteen million. You try it! None of this can
      >> be historic, but there
      >> was gullible old me taking it seriously.
      >
      > Maybe the above media citations are, indeed, extended
      > April Fools jokes. :)

      Well, do have a good April Fool's Day and as I wrote to Ernie, I'll
      leave such as this for you guys to ponder:)!
      >
      > In any case, it seems very likely that Jesus could
      > have gotten away after the temple incident (assuming
      > it happened). This suggestion is one of the real
      > strengths of Fredriksen's book.

      Are you wanting to go with Fredrickson's idea that Jesus did this near
      the start of his 3 year (Johannine) career? In other words, there's
      really no arrestable offense in this? And if there were, then the
      authorities, what, just ignored it for 3 years? I'd say if it did
      happen, Paula's ideas is the least likely scenario.

      Gordon Raynal
      Inman, SC
    • Ernest Pennells
      [Gordon Raynal] ... interpretation of the commandment about graven images than were the Pharisees?
      Message 2 of 10 , Apr 1, 2005
        [Gordon Raynal]
        >So, in this case and as regards the coinage, Jesus was stricter in
        interpretation of the commandment about "graven images" than were the
        Pharisees?<

        Jesus' complaint is clearly articulated: "robbers cave", "wicked
        vintners" - misappropriation of the temple by a regime he unambiguously
        denounced. The coinage wasn't his primary concern, but scattering it was
        hardly an expression of approval. ISTM that the principle role of that
        coinage would have been to inhibit taking action against Jesus for his
        demonstration because - although this was undoubtedly an arrestable
        offence - the prospect of a counter charge of Torah violation about images,
        compounded by the depiction of a pagan deity, would make prosecution
        embarrassing. So, instead of promptly arresting him as soon as he had been
        identified as the culprit, they bait him on Roman tax. Having them on the
        defensive about the Tyrian shekel, Jesus presses his advantage with the
        denarius.

        As I see it, it wasn't Jesus who was troubled by these coins, but his
        adversaries.

        Regards,

        Ernie Pennells
        Samaa el Maadi Tower No 2B
        Level 12 Apartment 4
        28 Corniche el Nil
        Cairo, Egypt
        http://www.trafford.com/4dcgi/robots/03-1982.html
      • Loren Rosson
        [Loren] ... [Gordon] ... Obviously. The point is that it would have been easy for Jesus to get away after raising hell with the money-changers, and evade
        Message 3 of 10 , Apr 2, 2005
          [Loren]
          >people get away with bank
          >robberies all the time -- at
          >least for a time

          [Gordon]
          >But again... what they did were crimes and
          >the police are on the hunt.
          >In the Gospels the authorities after this
          >are still looking for a way
          >to trap this guy with a legal charge and he's
          >not rushing in and out of anywhere nor hiding.

          Obviously. The point is that it would have been easy
          for Jesus to get away after raising hell with the
          money-changers, and evade capture for a time.

          >Are you wanting to go with Fredrickson's
          >idea that Jesus did this near the start
          >of his 3 year (Johannine) career? In other
          >words, there's really no arrestable
          >offense in this?

          I don't think it's necessary to endorse the Johannine
          placement of the temple incident for Fredriksen's
          point to hold. The temple incident could have happened
          hours or days before crowds and pilgrims became
          galvanized enough to attract serious attention. The
          crucial question is whether or not Caiaphas is in the
          driver's seat getting Jesus nailed. Sanders (and
          others) think this is the case -- that the high priest
          wanted Jesus dead for threatening the temple.
          Fredrisken disputes this for (a) archeological reasons
          (the size of the temple mount, especially seen in
          scale to masses of very "small" people), (b)
          historical reasons (if Pilate were just doing a favor
          for Caiaphas, it would explain Jesus being murdered,
          but not crucified), and (c) literary ones (John's
          repositioning). But no, I don't think (c) calls for
          endorsement of the way John actually places it, only
          that a strict reading of the synoptics yields
          problems. (That's old news anyway.)

          >I'd say if it did happen, Paula's
          >ideas is the least likely scenario.

          Fredrisken is convincing by drawing a strong line
          between the "triumphal entry" (or whenever during the
          crowds succumbed to messianic enthusiasm) and the
          crucifixion. She is also persuasive about the chief
          reason for Caiaphas' involvement -- helping Pilate
          pinpopint and apprehend Jesus in order to avoid wider
          bloodshed (Jn 11). I doubt, however, that Pilate
          hitherto "knew" that Jesus' movement was harmless, as
          she claims. Authorities would have been suspicious of
          any kingdom talk. Then too, there seems to have been a
          charge of sedition in the air over the question of
          taxation. Jesus' veiled transcript ("Render to
          Caesar") would have caused alarm while keeping him
          safe at the same time. And threatening the temple was
          obviously no joke, once people could identify Jesus
          and tie him to the incident. I think it's a mistake to
          look for a single reason for Jesus's execution. But it
          makes sense to distinguish between immediate reasons
          and subsequent charges (the latter of which don't
          depend on truth when enaging in a show trial as a
          preliminary to killing a low-life).

          So messianic enthusiasm is a strong candidate for the
          immediate reason for arrest and crucifixion. Charges
          of temple threats and tax evasion only sealed Jesus'
          fate, for the most part serving the purposes of a
          theatrical show trial and more public example. Those
          charges needn't have been true, though I think they
          were.

          You, however, deny all of the above three (messianinc
          enthusaism, temple incident, tax evasion) as causes
          for arrest. (Do I understand you correctly?) So how do
          **you** account for the "King of the Judeans'"
          crucifixion? Or do you?

          Loren Rosson III
          Nashua NH
          rossoiii@...



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        • Gordon Raynal
          Hi Loren, ... What do you think about the pandemonium issue? I don t know how many of these coins (with the other trade ins) would be on a given table, but
          Message 4 of 10 , Apr 2, 2005
            Hi Loren,
            On Apr 2, 2005, at 7:47 AM, Loren Rosson wrote:
            >
            > Obviously. The point is that it would have been easy
            > for Jesus to get away after raising hell with the
            > money-changers, and evade capture for a time.

            What do you think about "the pandemonium" issue? I don't know how many
            of these coins (with the other trade ins) would be on a given table,
            but if these very valuable coins just started rolling all over the
            place don't you think there would be a large scramble? Such would make
            a getaway more plausible. Any thoughts?
            >
            > I don't think it's necessary to endorse the Johannine
            > placement of the temple incident for Fredriksen's
            > point to hold.

            Thanks for the clarification.
            >

            > You, however, deny all of the above three (messianinc
            > enthusaism, temple incident, tax evasion) as causes
            > for arrest. (Do I understand you correctly?)

            Yes (more below).
            > So how do
            > **you** account for the "King of the Judeans'"
            > crucifixion? Or do you?
            >
            I honestly don't know. I think "the reason(s)" he got killed was
            because he was the recognized "voice" of "a kingdom movement" that was
            taking root in Galilee, H. Philip's domain, Samaria and Judea
            (including Jerusalem). But as to the precise scenario of his
            identification at Passover time, his arrest and crucifixion I don't
            think we have records of that, rather we have a theological (and very
            effective one) drama that is part of a parable created by Mark. Just
            showing up and being identified as "this guy," as far as I'm concerned,
            is quite enough to get hauled off for official state execution by
            tortuous means of crucifixion to send the clear message that the state
            would in no way tolerate any other kingdom allegiances than those
            authorized by the state. I think that this grand drama that Mark
            creates works, as I've said, to raise up the breadth of challenges that
            were and are in Jesus' language about "God's Kingdom." Again... the
            whole messianic heritage as it was popularly interpreted (so often to
            such grievous and violent ends... and I think about the time when
            Archelaus killed 3000 of his own subjects at Passover time because of
            fears of sedition); what was being offered by the Pharisees, by the
            Saducees, by the Scribes; the current rulers of the Temple
            establishment; the current jurisprudence practice of the Temple
            leadership; the Roman system of rule, "Pax" and "law;" the mob
            mentality and even the self-assurance of Jesus' own followers is
            powerfully raised up as being **entirely** wanting. The Markan parable
            works to dramatize the choice being offered and the harsh realities for
            those in the community to live with the choice they have made. In my
            view, Mark written after the R-J war works to show precisely just how
            right Jesus was some 50 years earlier. Popular messianism was squashed
            again and again. The Roman appointed Temple establishment did nothing
            to create unity. The "law" was anything but. The Roman "Pax" was
            murderous. The mob mentality fueled by statist notions of Covenant had
            led to Vespasian and Titus coming and so the utter destruction that
            ensued. And counting on "self-assurance" was a sure path to denial or
            flight into the proverbial night. The drama, in other words, clearly
            works to show that Jesus was correct then and still correct in Mark's
            time. I'd like to no more historical details, but I just don't think
            the data we have contains them. I think what we do have is **far,
            far** more important.

            Gordon Raynal
            Inman, SC
          • Ernest Pennells
            [Josephus] ... grew numerous. They made use of small swords, not much different in length from the Persian acinacae, but somewhat crooked, and like the Roman
            Message 5 of 10 , Apr 2, 2005
              [Josephus]
              >And then it was that the sicarii, as they were called, who were robbers,
              grew numerous. They made use of small swords, not much different in length
              from the Persian acinacae, but somewhat crooked, and like the Roman sicae,
              [or sickles,] as they were called; and from these weapons these robbers got
              their denomination; and with these weapons they slew a great many; for they
              mingled themselves among the multitude at their festivals, when they were
              come up in crowds from all parts to the city to worship God, as we said
              before, and easily slew those that they had a mind to slay.<

              Is this fiction; or historical evidence that you could actually get away
              with murder - repeatedly - in the middle of a festival crowd? The surprise
              element still works, even when something similar has happened previously
              (One up for GJohn).

              Regards,

              Ernie Pennells
              Samaa el Maadi Tower No 2B
              Level 12 Apartment 4
              28 Corniche el Nil
              Cairo, Egypt
              Tel: (20-2)526 6383 Mobile 0121001490
              http://www.trafford.com/4dcgi/robots/03-1982.html
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